The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Interim Executive Director Joey Parnes) announced casting today for the 2011 Shakespeare in the Park summer season featuring MEASURE FOR MEASURE, directed by David Esbjornson, and ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, directed by Daniel Sullivan, running in repertory June 6 - July 30 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Bank of America returns as lead sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park 2011, supporting The Public's mission to keep Shakespeare in the Park free.
The 2011 repertory company for MEASURE FOR MEASURE and ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL consecutively, includes John Cullum (Escalus/King of France), Diane Davis (Juliet/Diana), Carson Elrod (Pompey/Interpreter), Joe Forbrich (Friar/Duke of Florence), Danai Gurira (Isabella in Measure for Measure), Michael Hayden (Angelo/Second Brother Dumaine), André Holland (Claudio/Bertram), Jordan Lund (Abhorson/Rinaldo), David Manis (Elbow/Lavatch), Dakin Matthews (Provost/Lafew), Caitlin O'Connell (Nun/Widow), Annie Parisse (Mariana/Helena), Lorenzo Pisoni (Duke/First Brother Dumaine), Reg Rogers (Lucio/Parolles), Lucas Caleb Rooney (Barnadine /Gentleman), and Tonya Pinkins (Mistress Overdone/Countess).
"Last year's experiment in rep was a brilliant success, allowing us to create an acting company of unparalleled depth and ability, and giving us two wonderful productions, The Merchant of Venice and The Winter's Tale," said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "This year, we are tackling two of the lesser-known jewels of the canon. Once again we are creating a repertory company, building on last summer's success and on our conviction that long-term artistic collaborations create the richest theatrical productions."
MEASURE FOR MEASURE (last staged in the Park in 2001) and ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL (last staged in the Park in 1993) are as enthralling, theatrical, and transporting as any works in the canon. Together the two plays offer an extraordinary sense of Shakespeare's scope and power, humor and insight. Their vivid characters, searingly intense emotions, magnificent flights of metaphor, and riveting stories will showcase a thrilling Central Park season of American Shakespeare of the highest caliber.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE sweeps from the corridors of national power to the intimate confines of the bedroom, and from the convent's chapel to the executioner's block. It is Shakespeare at his grittiest: a bracing and bawdy glimpse of what happens when those in power allow their basest human impulses to range unchecked.
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL is a fairytale for grown-ups. This beguiling fable follows the low-born Helena, one of Shakespeare's most resourceful heroines, as she inventively surmounts obstacle after impossible obstacle in order to win the love of the aristocratic and haughty Count Bertram.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE and ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL will feature scenic design by Scott Pask; costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy (Measure for Measure) and Jane Greenwood (All's Well That Ends Well); lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski; original music by John Gromada (Measure for Measure) and Tom Kitt (All's Well That Ends Well); and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.
DAVID ESBJORNSON (Measure for Measure Director) has been the Artistic Director at Seattle Repertory and Classic Stage Company in New York. Highlights include: In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks (The Public), the world premiere of Purgatorio by Ariel Dorfman (Seattle Rep), The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (Broadway), The Play About the Baby (The Century), The Ride Down Mt. Morgan and Resurrection Blues by Arthur Miller (Broadway, Guthrie), the world premiere of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and the first public presentation of Perestroika, Homebody/Kabul (London), Neal Bell's Thérèse Raquin (CSC; OBIE), Tuesdays With Morrie (Minetta Lane) and Kevin Kling's How? How? Why? Why? Why?. Favorite revivals include: The Normal Heart (The Public), Hamlet (Theatre For A New Audience; OBIE), A Few Good Men (Royale Haymarket-London), All My Sons (Huntington), Much Ado About Nothing (NYSF), Mud and Drowning (Signature), Endgame (Drama Desk Nomination), The Maids, Entertaining Mr. Sloane (Lucille Lortel Award), The Entertainer (CSC), Farmyard (NYTW), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Summer and Smoke (Guthrie), Twelfth Night and Lady From Dubuque (Seattle Repertory).
DANIEL SULLIVAN (All's Well That Ends Well Director). For The Public Theater, Sullivan directed The Merchant of Venice (Broadway/Shakespeare in the Park), Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Stuff Happens, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Among his Broadway credits are Good People, Time Stands Still, Accent on Youth, The Homecoming, Prelude to a Kiss, Rabbit Hole, After the Night and the Music, Julius Caesar, Brooklyn Boy, Sight Unseen, I'm Not Rappaport, Morning's at Seven, Proof, the 2000 production of A Moon for the Misbegotten, Ah, Wilderness!, The Sisters Rosensweig, Conversations With My Father, and The Heidi Chronicles. Among his off-Broadway credits are Intimate Apparel, Far East, Spinning into Butter, Dinner With Friends, and The Substance of Fire. From 1981 to 1997, he served as Artistic Director of Seattle Repertory Theatre. Sullivan is the Swanlund Professor of Theatre at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
JOHN CULLUM (Escalus/King of France) last appeared at Shakespeare in the Park as the King of France in King Lear in 1962. He was most recently seen on Broadway last fall in The Scottsboro Boys. The two-time Tony Award-winner and inductee into the Theatre Hall of Fame has been in over 19 stage productions in the last 50 years. His select television credits include "Northern Exposure," "Mad Men," "ER," and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."